Keyword: gendarmerie

The meagre means of France's anti-corruption agencies

The extent of political and financial corruption in France has been highlighted by the scandal-plagued French presidential elections, with two of the frontrunning candidates, conservative nominee François Fillon and the far-right challenger Marine Le Pen, engulfed in graft accusations. Following the case of Jérôme Cahuzac, the socialist budget minister tax-fraud tsar who, Mediapart revealed, held a secret foreign bank account over two decades, several new anti-corruption agencies were created to fight a seemingly endemic problem. But, in a series of interviews with Mediapart, investigators and magistrates denounce a dire and crippling lack of resources.

Violent protests near Paris over death of black man in police van

Cars were torched and public buildings attacked in a second night of violence in Paris suburb after 24-year-old died during transportation to gendarmerie station.

Paris terror attacks heighten bitter divide between police and gendarmerie

Strained relations: French police head Jean-Marc Falcone (l) with gendarmerie boss Denis Favier. © Reuters Strained relations: French police head Jean-Marc Falcone (l) with gendarmerie boss Denis Favier. © Reuters

Policing in France is divided up between the national police force, which covers urban areas, and the gendarmerie, which covers mostly rural zones. The two forces have a historic rivalry, which is further complicated by the sometimes surreal bureaucracy concerning their geographical limits of operation. The terrorist attacks in France in 2015 have exacerbated the mistrust between the two, beginning with tensions between their elite intervention forces which have now spread through the ranks and into mutually denigrating rumour campaigns relayed by the media. Matthieu Suc reports.

French police mull a new code of ethics

 © Reuters © Reuters

Mediapart has obtained the draft text of a new professional code of ethics for French police forces, which sets out the duty of officers towards the population at large, but which also underlines their required obedience to their hierarchy regarding freedom of expression. Police unions and gendarmerie representatives are to be consulted on the text later this week, before a final version is published in the form of a decree, due in March 2013. Louise Fessard reports.

The divide between France and its police


Last month French interior minister Claude Guéant announced a drive to put thousands more police on the streets to create "a climate of security" and called on senior officers to encourage closer relations with local populations. But the relationship between the police and public in France has long been a troubled one, rooted in history and pervaded by a strong mistrust on both sides. In an interview with Mediapart, Christian Mouhanna, a researcher and academic specialised in police and judicial issues, identifies the causes and explains why so many attempts to bridge the divide have failed, creating an increasing malaise within the police itself.